Glute Lab | Book Review

I have to admit I was a little shaken by the sheer size of Bret Contreras book Glute Lab.

It comes in at 608 pages.

I dreaded reading page after page of the same information in the same type of language describing the same type of movements over and over and over for hundreds of pages. Luckily, that didn’t happen.

What also didn’t happen was a book filled with stories and testimonials from clients about their experiences executing the exercises and programs within the book. Yes, there are moments when Bret shares the successes of his clients, but they don’t take up a significant portion of the book – and for that I am grateful.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book:

  • pages 14 and 15 are photographs of women’s butts

Here’s my problem with that – why make it all women? Bret shared in the book that one of the reasons he got interested in growing his glutes was because he was made fun of, and felt insecure about not having much in the way of a rear end.

Show some male before and after butt pics in the updated version, Bret.

Yep, that’s really it. Just that one thing really bothered me about this book.

I learned by reading this book that Bret was the inventor of the hip thrust. You may have seen men or women doing this exercise in your gym. Typically, the individual is seated on the floor with their back against a bench and a weighted barbell with some padding across the point of contact with their hip area.

If you’ve ever done a hip bridge the motion you’d witness is very similar. The glutes, or buttocks, push the hips up – making this a glute-dominant strength training movement.

What’s the point of doing glute-dominant exercises? You strengthen your butt.

Why would anyone want to do that? One reason is for pure aesthetics, as Bret points out distastefully, in my opinion, on pages 14 and 15. Another reason is to increase strength. Your glutes play a significant role in complex strength training moves such as squats and deadlifts. Other reasons why people want to strengthen their glutes include wanting to run faster (improve athletic performance) or as a means of injury prevention.

What I Really Loved About This Book

Glute Lab is a book filled with images that show the reader how to perform each glute exercise correctly. Captions also include incredibly helpful and detailed descriptions of how you should move your body through the exercise, set up the equipment and what muscles you’ll feel working. This is one of the many reasons I found this book to be incredibly thorough.

If all you’re looking for is a first class glute training program, this book is for you. It includes beginner, intermediate and advanced programs for everyone from the average Jane gym-goer to bodybuilders.

Given the (enormous) size of the book I don’t think the average Jane gym-goer is Bret’s target audience for this book. I don’t see a lot of people carrying this tomb around their home or keeping a copy tucked away on a shelf in their garage gyms.

Hopefully I’m wrong, because this is a fantastic resource for recreational and professional fitness enthusiasts alike.

I would strongly recommend personal trainers read this book from cover to cover. I have no doubt that it will in some way, shape or form help them improve how they teach clients to train and execute exercises. As an added bonus, they may even enhance their own and their clients’ training programs.

Did you read the book? Let me know what you think of it.